Changes to the List: May 2018

In my ongoing effort to achieve gender parity in my list (as well as my somewhat less successful effort to pare the list down to a more manageable size) I’ve made a few changes to the list in the past month. I’ve also changed my reading order for Southeast Asia. I had originally intended to go from Thailand to Cambodia and then to Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Macau; I decided it would make more geographical sense to go Thailand-Myanmar-Laos-Cambodia-Vietnam-Macau. Vietnam and Macau don’t share a border (there’s a bit of China between them), but they’re a hell of a lot closer than Macau and Myanmar.

Here are my additions and subtractions, with the occasional explanation: Continue reading

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Some Changes to the List

I’m always making changes to my great master list, and I thought perhaps you guys might be interested in an update. First, a fellow blogger suggested Eka Kurniawan’s Beauty is a Wound for my Indonesian list. I love it (though I did find it problematic in some ways, which I will write about when I get to that blog post) and it made me worried that my methodology was unsound, since I had read a bunch of not-very-good Indonesian books, and had somehow missed that one. Kurniawan was on the Booker International longlist for another work, Man Tiger, so I thought perhaps adding all Booker nominees to my list would be a good start. I am also increasingly concerned about gender parity, so I’ve been trying to adjust my lists a little to make sure I have, wherever possible, equal numbers of male and female authors. Additions and subtractions are detailed below. Continue reading

Where I’ve been

I’ve found the difference between before and after having kids is not that you don’t have time for anything after kids, but you no longer have time for everything. Your free time is so limited that you have to pick one or two things to do with those precious hours. For the past nearly two years I’ve eschewed housework, personal grooming, and exercise in favor of reading Dear Prudence, knitting obsessively, blogging, and occasionally attempting to work on the novel-in-progress that I’ve been chipping away at for the last four years. Every once in a while I try to add something else–practicing violin, drawing, doing a load of laundry–and it causes everything else to fall apart. So when I started taking a creative writing class at The Grotto this month, it meant that the odd little moments I was using to write blog posts are now devoted to coursework. It’s an interesting and very San Francisco class, involving hypnosis, writing in gibberish, translating poetry from languages we don’t speak, and my new favorite, making poetry with the cut-up technique. Continue reading